Skip to main content

Some fixes coming to Flatbush/Fourth intersection, but no "silver bullets"

On Tuesday night, the Transportation Committee of Brooklyn Community Board 2 heard the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) detail some fixes for the congested intersection of Flatbush and Fourth avenues. However, DOT is not yet ready to take some additional steps to deal with this complicated transit hub.

It may have been prudence, not ignorance, that DOT representatives wouldn't discuss plans for Atlantic Yards--as of now, no one knows when and what would be built--but it still was odd they didn't address changes already aired (though not to be implemented?) in the Atlantic Yards environmental review.

A new "Barnes Dance"

In the presentation (PDF via Streetsblog), DOT's Christopher Hrones explained that, instead of eight seconds when all traffic is stopped, there will be a 31-second all-pedestrian phase (known as a "Barnes Dance") at the intersection of Flatbush and Fourth avenues.

"Unless you're a really fast walker, eight seconds isn't enough," he said, explaining that, in the new configuration, "You have less overall time [to cross], but more conflict-free time."

That was well-received, though committee members pointed out that a digital timer would be helpful to alert pedestrians to time available and also noted expressed concern that traffic agents, as they do now, would override the signal timing.

What about the "two-step"?

However, Hrones said DOT at this point was not addressing the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush. "We'd love to improve conditions there, but in the course of this exercise we didn't identify any silver bullets," he said.

The Brooklyn Paper reported:
The project all but eliminates the “Fourth-to-Flatbush Two-Step,” a plan buried deep within the state’s Atlantic Yards draft environmental impact statement that routed traffic through neighborhood streets. Drivers heading north on Fourth Avenue towards Flatbush Avenue would have been forced to turn right on Pacific Street and then left onto Flatbush.

A Transportation spokesman did not respond to questions about what happened to the alleged Atlantic Yards traffic fix.


I'm not sure that represents an end to the two-step, but may be an unwillingness to bring up something controversial before its time. Note that Lumi Rolley of No Land Grab adapted a Brooklyn Paper graphic by adding the location of the Bear's Garden and a satellite image showing the low-rise residential housing on Pacific Street.

What the FEIS said

According to Chapter 19, Mitigation of the Atlantic Yards Final Environmental Impact Statement, there would be a 35-second "Barnes Dance" along with the "two-step":
PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS
It is proposed to modify the Atlantic Avenue/Flatbush Avenue/4th Avenue intersection as shown in Figure 19-1. The modification would eliminate a northbound “triangular” constraint that severely limits the individual capacities of each of the three major arterials. Fourth Avenue northbound would terminate at Atlantic Avenue instead of at Flatbush Avenue. The southbound movement from Flatbush Avenue to 4th Avenue would be maintained. In conjunction with this measure, a new urban plaza (an expanded Times Plaza) would be constructed, and pedestrian crossings would be modified. Also in conjunction with this measure, Pacific Street would be converted to eastbound operation between 4th and Flatbush Avenues, and Atlantic Avenue would be modified from the Build condition to include an eastbound left-turn lane at Fort Greene Place.

The complementary operational changes to the adjacent streets to accommodate this major restructuring of the Atlantic Avenue/Flatbush Avenue/4th Avenue intersection would include:
1. Elimination of northbound 4th Avenue between Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues;
2. Modifications to 4th Avenue lane designations between Dean Street and Atlantic Avenue;
3. Conversion of Pacific Street from two-way operation (in the Build condition) to one-way eastbound operation with two thru-lanes from 4th Avenue to Flatbush Avenue;
4. Installation of a new traffic signal and crosswalk at the intersection of Pacific Street and Flatbush Avenue;
5. Introduction of an eastbound left-turn lane on Atlantic Avenue at Fort Greene Place;
6. Striping a westbound right-turn lane on Atlantic Avenue for 150 feet approaching 3rd Avenue;
7. Construction of expanded pedestrian spaces at Times Plaza along with crosswalk changes; and
8. Areawide signal coordination and timing changes.

Terminating northbound 4th Avenue at Atlantic Avenue would eliminate the fixed linkage of Flatbush, Atlantic, and 4th Avenues, which currently results in queuing and effectively reduces each avenue’s capacity. Pedestrians would benefit from the expansion of pedestrian space at Times Plaza and from the introduction of a new 35-second all-pedestrian phase at 4th Avenue/Flatbush Avenue/Hanson Place.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

So, Forest City has some property subject to the future Gowanus rezoning

Writing yesterday, MAP: Who Owns All the Property Along the Gowanus Canal, DNAinfo's Leslie Albrecht lays out the positioning of various real estate players along the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site:
As the city considers whether to rezone Gowanus and, perhaps, morph the gritty low-rise industrial area into a hot new neighborhood of residential towers (albeit at a fraction of the height of Manhattan's supertall buildings), DNAinfo reviewed property records along the canal to find out who stands to benefit most from the changes.
Investors have poured at least $440 million into buying land on the polluted waterway and more than a third of the properties have changed hands in the past decade, according to an examination of records for the nearly 130 properties along the 1.8-mile canal. While the single largest landowner is developer Property Markets Group, other landowners include Kushner Companies, Alloy Development, Two Trees, and Forest City New York.

Forest City's plans unc…

At 550 Vanderbilt, big chunk of apartments pitched to Chinese buyers as "international units"

One key to sales at the 550 Vanderbilt condo is the connection to China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holdings.

It's the parent of Greenland USA, which as part of Greenland Forest City Partners owns 70% of Pacific Park (except 461 Dean and the arena).

And sales in China may help explain how the developer was able to claim early momentum.
"Since 550 Vanderbilt launched pre-sales in June [2015], more than 80 residences have gone into contract, representing over 30% of the building’s 278 total residences," the developer said in a 9/25/15 press release announcing the opening of a sales gallery in Brooklyn. "The strong response from the marketplace indicates the high level of demand for well-designed new luxury homes in Brooklyn..."

Maybe. Or maybe it just meant a decent initial pipeline to Chinese buyers.

As lawyer Jay Neveloff, who represents Forest City, told the Real Deal in 2015, a project involving a Chinese firm "creates a huge market for…